Located 2,600 miles southwest of Hawaii, the National Park of American Samoa is the most remote unit of the National Park System and the U.S. National Park south of the Equator. The Park spreads across three islands, 9,500 acres of tropical rainforest, and 4,000 acres of ocean, including coral reefs. While remote, the islands of American Samoa, true to the meaning of the word Samoa (Islands of Sacred Earth), are welcoming and offer beautiful landscapes and centuries of culture and history.
Seasoned backpacker and adventurer Yang Lu earned the grand prize in the 2015 Share the Experience photo contest with this image of a sunburst captured at sunrise in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah. Yang has made the outdoors part of his daily life and finds deep connection to the land through his lens.
“My photography is not just for recreation, it is to inspire people to explore these areas." -- Yang Lu
Photo by Yang Lu (www.sharetheexperience.org).
The plantings of cherry trees originated in 1912 as a gift of friendship to the People of the United States from the People of Japan. In Japan, the flowering cherry tree, or "Sakura," is an exalted flowering plant. The beauty of the cherry blossom is a potent symbol equated with the evanescence of human life and epitomizes the transformation of Japanese culture throughout the ages.
Dr. Gustavo Bisbal is the Director of the Northwest Climate Science Center (NW CSC), one of eight centers in the United States at the core of the Department of the Interior's climate change response strategy. The NW CSC was established in 2010 to coordinate the expertise of federal and university researchers to provide scientific information and tools necessary to address federal, state, and tribal resource managers' priorities in response to a changing climate.
Prior to this appointment, Dr. Bisbal served in the Office of Ocean and Polar Affairs in the Bureau of Oceans, Environment and Science, at the U.S. Department of State. He helped advance U.S. foreign policy objectives related to ocean sciences and resource management by holding leadership roles as the Department's Officer to the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, and as Alternate Head of the U.S. delegation to UNESCO's Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission. Between 2002 and 2006, Dr. Bisbal was the Manager of the Columbia River Basin and Water Development Branch at the Oregon Office of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Between 1994 and 2002, as Senior Science and Policy Analyst with the Northwest Power and Conservation Council, he was responsible for the integration of scientific information into policy decisions to protect and restore fish and wildlife resources in the Columbia River basin.
Dr. Bisbal's graduate education at the University of Rhode Island includes both a Ph.D. and a Master of Science in Biological Oceanography, and a Master in Marine Affairs.